You have a massive market opportunity, but how will you capture it? Leverage data to conduct an account segmentation exercise to prioritize your customers and prospects. The output will provide actionable insights to drive coverage and territory design, headcount modeling, and organizational design. Assign the right reps to the right accounts and get them executing in the most efficient way to accelerate new logo conversion and generate larger deal sizes through data-driven prospect selection.

How has your market opportunity evolved in today’s world, and how has your organization reacted? You want to align your sales team to the opportunity and ensure that they are equipped to go after the top accounts. If you cannot rank accounts from best to worst on revenue potential and propensity to buy, you will risk missing your number. Ensure that the best sales channels are aligned, and your best sales talent has been assigned to the customers and prospects with the greatest potential.


Identify Your Market Opportunity with Quality Data


Robust account segmentation will prioritize the accounts that have the highest spend potential and those that are more likely to purchase your products and services. Understand how much opportunity lies within a given territory or market to inform your organizational design and coverage models. What is the right headcount? What are the types of sellers that will maximize market opportunity capture? Are your top prospects existing customers that you want to retain, cross-sell, and upsell? Or are they new customers that you want to acquire?


Accurate and comprehensive data is a critical success factor in conducting insightful account segmentation. The first steps to launching your account segmentation include data collection, data cleansing, and data enrichment. Check out our Account Segmentation Framework to get started on gathering the data inputs you need.



Download the Account Segmentation Framework Here


We all know that data is never perfect. However, there are 7 Core Components to building an effective strategy that will improve your data quality to start driving better business outcomes. It is never too late to begin the daunting journey of data quality improvement.


While data is critical, remember that any great segmentation model is built from a combination of ‘art’ and ‘science.’ While data can provide a lot of direction, there is still the real human connection and emotion that only your reps can provide input on. The models produced from data are meant to be directional and guiding in nature, but not the only source of truth.


Prioritize Your Market Opportunity


Now that we’ve covered the importance of quality data, you will want to conduct an account segmentation exercise to determine your ideal customer profile and total spend potential.


Evaluate the strategic direction and objectives of your company. How does that align with your market opportunity that you identified in segmentation? Define your revenue allocation across new logo, cross-sell and upsell, retention, new industries, and new products.


Refresh Your Market Opportunity


If you’ve already gone through an Account Segmentation exercise, you may want to consider a refresh. SBI’s best practice is to refresh your model every 3-12 months, based on the nature of your selling environment. Depending on how fast the market is evolving, the change can easily fall on your product/service mix, your customer base, or both.


Read more about how to update account segmentation from a previous SBI blog on how refreshed account segmentation will inform how to maximize your route to market mix.


You may come out of a refreshed segmentation with a new Ideal Customer Profile.


As we are seeing in today’s COVID-19 environment, virtual job needs are on the rise, along with sanitization supplies, safety gear, etc. Requirements are changing rapidly, and your customer base may change along with those demands.


You may come out of a refreshed segmentation with new spending potentials.


Is there a new variable that is highly correlated with spend potential? If you are a software company selling licenses or seats to a product utilized by remote workers, the number of employees may become a significant indicator of an account’s potential. Therefore your market opportunity has shifted.


Align Your Team to Your Market Opportunity


Your refreshed segmentation has pointed you to your current market opportunity. Once the foundational fact base has been developed, revenue coverage and territories can be optimized relative to account opportunity.


You want to make sure that your territories are aligned – retention and new account conversion suffers when territories are too large. Customers don’t get the care they need – most commonly tier 2 accounts, who are often those that have the most potential for growth.


Align your team to your market opportunity using the segmentation output and applying the ROAD model:


  • Retainhigh spend, low opportunity – These accounts present an opportunity to create the foundation of recurring revenue and should be defended with your top Account Management or Customer Success resources focused on revenue retention.
  • Opportunisticlow spend, low opportunity – These accounts or prospects represent the long-tail and should be covered using ‘light touch’ or ‘reactive’ resources (e.g., digital resources, self-serve).
  • Acquirelow spend, high opportunity – These accounts are new customers and should be covered by resources who have demonstrated successful ‘hunting’ skills.
  • Develophigh spend, high opportunity – These are your largest, most strategic accounts and should be covered by proactive ‘farming’ teams focused on expansion and new bookings.


Ensure that your entire sales organization is united – hunters vs. farmers, inside sales reps, marketing teams, customer success roles, etc. Do they know what accounts they are going after and how they are all going to work together?


Segmentation is the foundational step to align your sales team to your market opportunity in the most efficient and effective manner. Ensure that you have accurate and comprehensive data to drive your segmentation efforts, which will then allow you to prioritize your market opportunity and align your sales team to maximize productivity.


Download the Account Segmentation Framework to get a jump start to capturing your market opportunity.


Download the Account Segmentation Framework Here


Below are some additional resources you might find helpful:


  • Now that your sales team is aligned to the market opportunity, do you have the structure in place to set them up for success? Learn more about Best Practices in Account Planning for Sales Operations.
  • SBI’s LinkedIn community group Inspire Others where you can connect with other leaders like yourself and access additional content.
  • Have a question? Submit it to the SBI Help Desk, and an expert will get back to you within 24 hours.



New call-to-action


Vivian Hou

Leverages advanced analytics to provide data driven insights.

Vivian uses a data driven approach to solve complex business problems. Hands on experience sifting through the data gives her a wealth of knowledge about finding anomalies and industry best practices. Her skillset of analytic tools such as R, Tableau, and SQL integrated with SBI’s Revenue Growth Methodology produces meaningful solutions for our clients.


Vivian applies a diverse set of technical platforms to produce creative, insightful, and actionable results that drive sales leaders to make decisions and make their number.

Read full bio >